Workplace Injuries & Workers’ Compensation
Protect Your Rights with a Spokane Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Life can get complicated after being injured on the job. You may be unable to work as you face an extended recovery period. You may be worried about how you can afford to pay your medical bills and support your family. You may also be angry and confused when your employer refuses to provide insurance coverage, injury benefits, or treatment options.
While employers and the State of Washington fight to deny claims or minimize injured worker payouts, Sweetser Law Office can help you determine your best course of legal action. Our experienced and trusted Spokane workers’ comp attorneys are here to assist you.
Initial case reviews are free, no fee unless we win. Call Sweetser Law Office at (509) 444-4444.
How Does the Workers’ Comp Process Begin?
Sweetser Law Office consults with qualified experts to determine the extent of your future treatment and disability. As Spokane workers’ comp attorneys, our job is to help you obtain what you rightfully deserve.
Workers’ compensation can be used for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vocational assistance & re-training
- Fair determination of partial or permanent disability
Depending on the extent of your injury, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation, and, in permanent injury cases, impaired earning capacity or loss of future income.
What Are Common Workplace Accidents?
We will obtain your medical records, monitor your treatment, and make sure all deadlines are met. Sweetser Law Office and our Spokane workers’ comp attorneys will have your case evaluated by independent doctors, vocational experts, and rehabilitation specialists when necessary to support your claim.
Workers often sustain serious injuries or lose their lives as the result of on-the-job accidents, including:
- Workers’ compensation claims
- Auto accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Factory accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Environmental hazards
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Insufficient training or safety guidelines
- Reckless co-worker conduct
- Amputation involving outdated or faulty machinery
- Roadway accidents when driving is work-related
- Disease from acute or chronic exposure to toxic materials
- Electrocution from hazardous wiring or other electrical sources
- Severe burns sustained in fires and explosions
- Brain, head, or spinal cord injuries from falling objects
- Crushing injuries
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers' compensation insurance’s very existence, its purpose, is to provide injured workers with replacement compensation without the need to file suit in the court system. But when a workers' compensation claim has been unreasonably denied or contested, legal action may be necessary to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
The workers’ compensation system is a “no-fault” system for accidents on the job. This means you are covered for all on the job injuries regardless of fault. The compensations system is set up by the State of Washington. Workers’ compensation claims are not entitled to pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life. You are covered even if your injuries developed gradually over time, such as a bad back or an occupational disease occurring from exposure to workplace hazards.
In processing your claim, Sweetser Law Office will gather evidence to show:
- The nature and extent of the injury
- Whether the injury occurred in the course of your employment or in furtherance of business purposes
- Whether the injury was the result of a gradual injury occupational disease or a sudden accident
- Whether the employer fulfilled its responsibilities under the law
- Whether a third party may also be at fault
What Is Third Party Compensation?
Even though you are pursuing a workers’ compensation remedy, you might be able to pursue a negligence claim simultaneously against a third person who might have contributed to your accident and your injury, in addition to your employer.
Non-employer third party claims are available when:
- Manufacturers/Suppliers - If you are injured and your injury was caused in part by defective equipment manufactured and/or supplied by persons or companies outside of your employer, you may be able to file a suit against them.
- Independent Managers and Supervisors - A lawsuit is possible against a third party if your injury occurred on an assignment that was supervised or managed by an independent party.
- Subcontractors - It is possible to have a claim against two different parties if you were injured while working for another subcontractor, or the owner of a particular project.
- Other drivers - If an auto accident injury occurs while driving for your job, a workers’ compensation claim and a claim against the other driver or drivers for negligence can be made.
When you have suffered a severe injury at the workplace, and it prohibits you from completing your work obligations and requires medical attention, you should file a workers' compensation claim. The claim should be filed as soon as possible. You should tell the hospital, or your treating doctor that your injury occurred while you were working.
Anyone injured while working can file a workers’ compensation claim through their employer. It does not matter whether you or anyone else was at fault. Workers' compensation coverage for medical costs, rehabilitation costs, and loss of wages is available, regardless of who is at fault for your injury. There are time limits for filing a claim. If you file after the statute of limitations, your eligibility to file a workers' compensation claim may be permanently waived.